Better Place announced today that it has signed 19 leading Israeli companies to be the company’s first corporate fleet customers for its Israel operation. The companies including TEVA, Israel Corp., Pelephone Communications Ltd., Orange Israel, Rafael, Matrix IT Ltd., have agreed to partner with Better Place as it designs, installs and tests its electric car charging network in Israel. Under the agreement, Better Place will give these fleet customers priority in purchasing Better Place electric cars when they are commercially available in 2011.
“Today marks an important signal to the market that there is a real demand for electric cars powered by the Better Place network,” said Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO. “We expect to demonstrate increasing demand as we begin to name additional vision partners in Israel and in our other markets, which together represent a 50 million total addressable car market. We’re seeing the tip of the iceberg for the demand that lies beneath the surface.”
"These leaders of the Israeli economy understand the strategic importance of one of the greatest challenges facing our world today – our dependence on oil and the impact it has on our economy, our environment and our security,” said Moshe Kaplinsky, CEO, Better Place Israel. “The Better Place Israel team will work closely with our vision partners as they review the roadmap that will enable them to switch to electric transportation, while providing them with significant environmental and economic advantages.”
As part of the agreement, Better Place will partner closely with these fleet customers to design, plan and install an electric car charging network at corporate campuses and employee homes to create the most convenient and suitable deployment for drivers to use. Better Place will invite the companies’ employees to participate in driver workshops and other seminars, which will inform them on the convenience, safety and experience of driving an electric car. As early adopters, Better Place will grant these vision partners first priority in test drives, use of demonstration vehicles and initial supply of commercially-ready vehicles.
Moshe Kaplinsky, CEO of Better Place Israel, concluded : “These companies are all recognized leaders in their own fields, and by taking part in the most significant change in the transportation arena in this century, they will take a huge step forward in our global march to reduce our dependence on oil. They will lend their voice by helping us to plan and develop the right solution to meet the needs of our society.”
Better Place and The Renault-Nissan Alliance are working together to make electric cars widely available in markets including Israel, beginning in 2011.